Ambassador Kelly’s Statement to the Press at 2016 Tbilisi Leadership Forum (January 18)

Ambassador Kelly’s response to a journalist’s comment related to the Georgian government’s current talks with Russia’s Gazprom (Georgian society thinks there’s not enough information about the talks, that all of the news of these talks is coming from Russian sources‎).

Ambassador Kelly
: I think it’s always important that governments be as transparent as possible about their energy policy, and they (the Georgian government) have been very open with us. We have expressed our concerns that Georgia not become too dependent on one source of energy — that they keep a good diversification of energy — and we are satisfied with their explanations.‎

Q–n: Do you think that today’s negotiations with Gazprom is okay for Georgia, when 20  percent of territory is still occupied by Russia?

Ambassador Kelly: Well yes, I think that Georgia does have a short term energy need, and I think it’s prudent to talk to all potential energy suppliers. And, of course, I take your point, we are very concerned about the occupation of Georgia by Russia.  But, I think the Georgian government is very cognizant of this issue and the challenges that this presents.